Saturday December 09, 2023

Dengue season about to set in

August 19, 2018

Rawalpindi : A total of 22 patients have been tested positive for dengue fever here at the three teaching hospitals in town so far in 2018 however according to many health experts, the trend of cases so far reported cannot be termed as an outbreak of the infection.

Data collected by ‘The News’ has revealed that the three teaching hospitals did not receive any confirmed patient of the infection in last one week. So far in 2018, as many as 1,049 patients reported at Dengue outpatient departments at Holy Family Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital of which 782 were suspected as the patients of dengue fever.

Of 782 suspects, as many as 268 were taken as probable cases of the infection of which only 22 were tested positive for dengue fever through NS1 test while 246 were tested negative.

The cases so far confirmed at the allied hospitals are of sporadic nature mainly because the HFH and DHQ hospitals received a total of 22 confirmed patients of the infection in last four months, said a senior official serving at HFH pleading anonymity.

He, however, added the peak season for transmission of dengue fever is about to set in and the situation may become alarming in next three to four weeks if proper preventive measures are not followed by concerned government authorities and individuals.

The peak season for dengue fever transmission in this region of the country starts in the beginning or middle of September and lasts till November, said Additional District Health Officer at ICT Health Department Dr. Najeeb Durrani while talking to ‘The News’ on Saturday. He said to date not a single confirmed case of dengue fever has been reported at any healthcare facility in the federal capital but it does not mean that there would not be any cases of the infection in the coming days.

The population in the region may face threat of dengue fever transmission in the next month, September, and onwards that is termed as the peak season for the transmission of the infection, he said.

It is time for general public to remain vigilant and follow proper preventive measures to avoid dengue fever, said Dr. Durrani.

It is important that in routine, the first cases of dengue fever appear in this region of the country by the end of July or in the middle of August while sporadic cases, reported before August do not cross the figure of 10 generally.

Usually, ‘aedes aegypti’, the vector that causes dengue fever lay the first eggs of the year in the beginning of May and the mosquito density is maximal in early July, late August and early September while the egg laying activity remains until November though the larval density reaches to its peak in September.

Like other health experts, Dr. Durrani said a surge in dengue fever cases is expected after the rains and it is time when we can start social mobilization to contact community to look for sites and places inside or outside homes that can attract rain water and provide a favourable place for the female ‘aedes’ mosquitoes to lay eggs.